So You’re a Retired PE Teacher – Now What?

July 1, 2021 was the official day of my retirement. After spending 31 years teaching in the Port Washington School District, my role as an elementary PE teacher has ended. So now what? What comes next in my life?

I have spent the past year thinking about what my next steps might be. I intentionally use the word “might” instead of “should”, because I truly believe that my course needs to be steered through possibilities versus perceived obligations.

So…what next?

Here are some tips that I have come up with for myself that you might want to consider as well:

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1. Make time for yourself and your family:

To me, this is crucial. Even if you did not just finish teaching through a pandemic, you have earned the time to dedicate to yourself and your family. Be generous with this!

2. Allow yourself to get bored:

If you are anything like me, you are always on the go. I made a promise to myself and my family that I will NOT commit to anything major for at least one year. Boredom just might lead me down roads I might not have otherwise considered. Give yourself the gift of boredom, and see where it might bring you.

3. Stay Connected:

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Just because you are retired does not mean that you are finished with the PE world. Try to stay fully connected through twitter, facebook, and conferences – I know this type of connection will help keep me fresh, involved, and up to date.

4. Attend and Present:

Now that we are retired, we should be in a much better position to attend local, state, and national conferences! Even if your convention proposals are not accepted, try attending conferences anyway! The networking and learning that happens there is always worth it!

5. Volunteer:

Look for opportunities to give back to the PE community. There are so many ways to help out: mentoring new teachers, providing PD in schools, and advocating for the profession are some examples. You can also try getting involved in your local and State SHAPE organizations if you are not doing so already. Offer to write a blog, or participate in a podcast. All these things will keep you fresh and will help other PE teachers around you.

Finally, continued reflection on your career as a PE teacher is so important. Taking the time to do this will, hopefully, help you figure out what you want to do next. Personally, I know I will never stop being involved in the PE world, and I look forward to continuing this journey!

Best of luck to all of you in retirement!

About the Author:

2 Responses

  1. Thanks for the positive reflection on retiring Megaera, I really became more interested in what you had to say as I continued to read your entire blog. I am getting close to that era of my life, and I know for sure one thing; I don’t want to just do nothing after I retire. yet, I like how you said “don’t commit to any major life adventures right away, give it a year. Not your exact words, but close enough that I hope it makes sense as to what I am trying to say. I am 62 and I have been blessed to teach in Catholic Education my entire career. The pay wasn’t as bad as people make out teaching to be, but I never became a teacher to get rich financially. I was after the personal reward of helping children by sharing my athletic talents and desire for sports and fitness with them. No regrets for me, I did sub in public school for about a half of a year when I first started teaching, but my first offer of full time teaching came in the Catholic School realm, and I wouldn’t exchange my teaching PE there for anything. Some would argue that teaching at a Catholic School is not like real teaching, yet we give students rigorous learning objectives and they do quite well in society. personally, I would have taught in Public School, it just never panned out that way. Looking forward to retiring…Mark

  2. For any retired P.E. teacher who would like to stay involved with youth and help PHIT America –, a national charity, focused on getting kids active & healthy, please join our efforts to fight the Inactivity Pandemic – Our organization needs your help to get schools onboard with our free programs and we greatly value the role of PE teachers. We offer flexible hours and compensation.

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